Reconstructing our old family home in Croatia was in the back of my mind for a long time. Living and working in Berlin, this was difficult if not impossible to accomplish and I knew I would have to be around for things to happen. In spring 2019 my then employer closed down his business and the time was ripe: I relocated to Proložac, near Imotski in Southern Dalmatia.
The house that awaited me was structurally still in great condition but it lacked quality piping, the electrical system needed renewal and the interieur was slowly falling apart.
Before I could start building something I had to tear down a few walls and get to the bare structure.
The stone walls we uncovered had remains of the mortar on them that my father had already partially removed but later decided to cover with drywalls. My plan was to clean the stone blocks and re-grout them. Also, the windows were tiny, as they always are in old stone houses. I wanted to enlarge them to increase the amount of light the upper floor gets. Not least, the upper floor was separated from the attic by a thin concrete ceiling which made both floors quite low spaces. So I decided to have that ceiling removed to end up with an open space. And to retain some of the upstairs space while at the same time preserving the openness of the room a gallery made of wooden beams seemed to be a good idea to achieve this.
The lower floor had been only used in the summer as an expedient kitchen and a bare-bones bath room for those warm evenings on the terrace. Here I had some more modest ideas: covering the walls and ceilings with dry walls and laying tiles in the new bathroom.
Last but not least, I wanted to move the entrance from the north side (facing the street) to the south. With the upper floor street level and the lower floor facing the terrace, I needed a balcony that would not only increase the leisure space but also provide the connection to the street level for the new entrance.